Work can be hard and hectic schedules upset your food habits. You might not have enough time to have your proper lunch. In these cases, certain snacks come handy.
One can have them anytime of the day whether one has taken lunch or not had it! Midday snacks are good provided they are healthy. Which are the healthy snacks for midday?
Work and stress can make one forget to have lunch. Or there may not be enough time for it. This may affect your energy levels and weight.
In fact, this might lead to food imbalance and deficiencies of certain nutrients and affect on skin, hair, and other body organs. At such a time, midday snacks come handy. They are useful also when a person has taken a proper lunch.
Midday snacks should provide energy, be nutritious and tasty, and reinvigorate. They should not be junk foods and not be unhealthy.
They ideally should not replace meals but can be beneficial until you are having time for a meal. Erica Leon, a registered dietitian from New York states:
“What I see very often are people [who] come home and they haven’t eaten for the day, because they’ve been too busy or haven’t had a chance,”
“When you become ‘over-hungry’ without realizing it, very often you go to the other side, which is overeating.”
Which are healthy ideas for these snacks in the late afternoon?
1. Fruit with nut butter or cheese
Combining fruit pieces with nut butter or cheese is a great idea for snacks at midday. They are high in proteins and can fill the stomach well and for a longer time. Even just fruits are healthy. Nutritionist Kimberly Snodgrass says:
“Go to your local market and get a big fruit tray, and pick from there what you want,”
“It’s already pre-chopped, pre-washed and it’s a healthy snack that’s readily available to you.”
2. Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are easily available everywhere and are nutritious. They have lots of protein. Unsalted pistachios score the highest because of their content of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Avoid salt because of the excess sodium. Chia and flax seeds are the best. Greek yogurt is also good with them. The seeds are fiber-rich and can control blood cholesterol.
3. Snack bars
These are easily procured and stored. Their shelf life is long. Store them to use when required. There are several options in them and include fig bars and granola bars.
A good snack bar is one with zero added sugars and those that have high protein and fiber; at least 3 to 5 g of each. Those containing oats, fruits nuts, and eggs are best.
This middle eastern dip and bread or vegetables make a good healthy combination. Add it on pita bread or crackers for a quick midday food.
You can couple it with vegetables. These two pairings are heart friendly with healthy fats, protein, carbohydrates and fiber.
Sometimes we are thirsty and feel that it is hunger. Kimberly recommends keeping water at your desk and having it before grabbing a snack. She explains:
“Typically, you’ll see people running to get food when you have to check your cues and say, ‘Wait a minute, did I even have any water today?’ Because a lot of times, when you think you’re hungry, you’re really thirsty and dehydrated,”
One can add cucumbers, lemons or mint to the water for flavor.